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Responsible Speech Memorial Speaks to Human Dignity

By Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño – Media justice prevailed in Albuquerque, and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It was exciting to see how many people came out the night of the city council’s vote on Media Literacy Project’s Responsible Speech Memorial. People spoke from the heart about how their lives were affected by irresponsible speech, and many representatives from many organizations attended to show their support that night, including Strong Families New Mexico, Transgender Resource Center, UNM Dream Team, Generation Justice, Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center, Quote Unquote, Southwest Organizing Project, Men of Color Initiative, and Southwest Women’s Law Center. I want to thank my fellow city councilors who voted for the memorial: President Ken Sanchez, Isaac Benton, Klarissa J. Peña, and Diane G. Gibson.

As a society, we should stand for stronger values than those in hateful media messages. And on April 21, 2014 at the city council vote, we did.

I introduced Media Literacy Project’s Responsible Speech Memorial to Albuquerque City Council on April 7, 2014 because Albuquerque’s communities care about how they’re represented in the media. The memorial supports strong families and healthy communities by commending the use of responsible speech in the media. This memorial speaks to the dignity we all deserve and why we should use uplifting language, instead of language designed to further oppression.

I hope that other cities join us in standing for human dignity and respect, using the memorial as a model for future legislation. It is important that city governments represent the interests of all of their citizens, not just those who are wealthy or in power.